Wednesday, July 18, 2012

11k in two days, the process, IM Mt Tremblant

You know what swimming 11km in two days did to me? Nothing! Yeap, that’s right. I feel like I did not do anything out of ordinary. Well, at least today. Yesterday afternoon when I was putting in the last 200m to those 11k I was not this “springy”. Even people I usually beat smoked me in the last few sprint intervals. But I did not expect anything else, my arms were quite tired. And I slept like a log for 8 hours last night.
But still, it is pretty great. Just imagine that 2 years ago I have never swam more than 50m of free at the time (although to be honest I am sure I could have swum more than 50m but my goggles were leaking all three times I tried so I have never swum more) and now I can do a good effort 6k in one day (in two sessions). It is really about non-leaking goggles.   
So why the hell did I do 11k in two days? This is a week when I have to cram everything into 5 days. Originally it was supposed to be only 4 days and when you have 4 days to do 19k of swimming it means that you have to swim a lot each day. But it turns out that I have one extra day after all, so I am taking today easy.

I am also only able to do one biking workout and have to run on back to back days this week:( Hope it will be ok. I think that my ITB will survive that, and I am more concerned about the lack of biking. I am just not biking enough. I still have not made a peace with my decision to swim more and put bike on hold. It still bugs me but reason tells me that it is a right thing to do since my swim is truly pathetic compared to bike and run. So although it bugs me I am sticking to it. I tell myself that I will be able to resume better bike training once I am in the US and that makes me feel better. Meanwhile I repeat process-driven, not goal-driven mantra. Meaning, think about bigger picture. I have a goal but that one is quite far away, like years away, and the process to get there is more important right now. 

That being said, I am trying really hard not to put any high expectations on myself (esp for the biking leg) for the upcoming tri race on Aug 18. But it is hard. Very hard. I hate doing races unprepared. I can still hope that some of the TdF riders’ abilities will magically transfer to me this weekend but I know that such things do not happen in a real life:(

Do you also have these crazy thoughts like I do, like for example signing up for Branson 70.3 in September? The race is on 23rd and I can (with 92.7% probability) enter the States on 21st, so that would work. Plus my sister lives in Tulsa so maybe I could persuade her to come watch. But of course it is just a thought; I am not going to do it. I would love to, but no. Just go without any goals/paces/watts and check the stats at the end to see how you did. But I cannot. Although it is tempting. It would give me a nice benchmark for the future. But no. I cannot run a half-marathon right now. So it is settled.

You know what irritates me? All the crap I get for pulling a plug on IMMT. Gosh, as if my decision not to do an ironman race eventhough I can walk the marathon and thus finish made me a failure. Sure, I was excited to do the race but when it became apparent that my ITB won't survive it I got over it. I have already even forgotten that I was signed up for that race.
I already said this before, but I must say it again: I am going to smack the next person who tells me that finishing an ironman race is one of the biggest achievements one can do. Get real people. There is nothing heroic about getting through 140.something miles unless you are missing at least one limb. Not leaving Walmart with 15 new plastic bags everytime you go there or buying teddy-bears for little orphan kids for Christmas, now those are real achievements! Yes, we spend hours and hours training, we make sacrifices, it is serious stuff. And I take it quite seriously myself. But at the end even IM is just a race, like any other selfish fun we do for ourselves. Now pros, that’s slightly different because they can actually use the popularity they gain finishing/winning races for something good. But the rest of us folks, not so much.


  1. 92.7% this is the probability that I will come over to Germany and pummel some sense into you if you decide to start training for a 70.3 (at least the running portion of it).

    ...I know, I know, you were just dreaming. A girl can dream. If it's any consolation, it seems like your 5 km/10 km fitness is on a great trajectory.

    Finally: "But at the end even IM is just a race, like any other selfish fun we do for ourselves."
    Totally agree!!! I really feel people often lose sight of this fact and try to prescribe more noble tones to running/triathlon/ etc... these activities are really no different than going to a movie in that it profits no one (with rare exception) except the athlete. I'm not saying it's wrong (obviously) but let's not make more of it than it is!!

  2. I agree- best decision ever to bail on IMMT vs going and walking the marathon. An IM is only satisfying if you went out and prepared correctly and did the best you could. Walking 26 miles is not the best you can do.